Vegetarian Aubergine Maqloubeh (Video)

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Maqloubeh is a famous dish of the Levant, it literary means turned upside down as it is inverted onto a plate. The method and ingredients for preparing it may vary throughout the region, but the end goal is for it to look like a cake (which is hard to achieve sometimes). It may consist of only aubergine or cauliflower or both together, it is mostly enjoyed cooked with minced meat or in chunks, some even prepare it with chicken.

To me, I enjoy the vegetarian version of it as I am not much of a meat lover but to be fair, it is delicious in any method prepared.

This dish is Arab comfort food at its best, it leaves you full, satisfied and jolly. The traditional method of preparing it involves deep frying the vegetables, I have prepared the dish using a healthier technique by placing the aubergine in the oven rather than resorting to deep frying them.

Have a crack at it and let me know the verdict.


Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Start to finish: 1 hour


  • 2 cups rice, soaked 1 hour in water

  • 1 chopped onion

  • 2 tomatoes

  • 3 medium eggplants

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • coriander leaf

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


* Preheat oven to 180 C fan setting.

* Wash the soaked rice until the water runs clear then drain in a colander.

* Peel the aubergine as in the video then slice into 1 cm discs. Lay on a wire rack and coat the

surface with some olive oil, turn over and repeat the same.

* Place in the oven for 10 minutes or just until it starts to brown. Remove and leave aside.

* In a pot fry the chopped onion in some olive oil and when it starts to turn golden brown add 4 cups of the stock and put the aubergine in and let it boil until it is softened.

* Remove the softened aubergine and now the dish is ready to assemble.

* In a non-stick pot place a drizzle of olive oil at the bottom then cover with the fresh cut tomatoes and the aubergine alternating between them. Cover with some rice and sprinkle some coriander. Now lay the rest of the aubergine and more coriander and finish with a final layer of rice.

* Pour the stock that the aubergine was boiling in over the layered rice and adjust the seasoning. If the stock is not enough to just cover the rice, then top it up with water.

* Cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated then move it on a lower heat placing it on a diffuser and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 5 minutes to rest.

* Place a round plate on the top of the pot and turn it over.

* Garnish with toasted pine nuts and almonds and serve with Raita and salad.


* If preparing a meat version cook the dish in the meat stock.

* Frying the aubergine lends it a softer and creamier texture but absorbs a lot of oil.

* If preparing it with cauliflower you can coat the florets in olive oil and place them on a try in the oven until they turn golden brown or you can deep fry if you prefer.

Per Serving: 488 Calories; 13g Fat (23.1% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 85g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 342mg Sodium.